Congresswoman Aumua Amata Radewagen tops the delegates and most members of Congress in sponsoring and co-sponsoring bills with those of the opposite party, according to a new index on bipartisanship.
KHJ News Washington D.C. correspondent Matt Kaye reports—
The Bipartisan Index developed by Georgetown University and the Lugar Center,after former Indiana US Senator and moderate Republican Richard Lugar, seeks to objectively measure how well members of opposite parties work together.
Based on the frequency with which a member sponsors and co-sponsors bipartisan bills, the index ranked Congresswoman Aumua Amata Radewagen highest among the island delegates.
It also ranked Radewagen 14th best, among all 438-members of the 115th Congress, using a 20-year baseline of data to overcome behavioral differences between when a member’s in the majority or minority.
Radewagen is the nation’s highest ranking elected GOP official of Asian-Pacific American heritage.
Among the other island representatives, Puerto Rico’s Resident Commissioner Jenniffer Gonzalez ranked 19thbest among all members.
Guam Congresswoman Madeleine Bordallo ranked 261st, while the NMI’s Gregorio Kilili Sablan placed 415, Stacey Plaskett of the Virgin Islands, 418, and DC Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton came in at 407.
All four were listed as Democrats, though Sablan runs as an Independent but caucuses with the Democrats.
The study’s authors say they don’t believe it wrong for members to have partisan bills, but see a high score as a “strong indication”a legislator is prioritizing “governance over posturing.”
They add that the last three Congresses have yielded very low bipartisan scores, with bills written not so much to pass, but to serve as “talking points.”
The authors note that America’s founders understood the power of factionalism and personal ambition, and so, designed a system to check abuse and prevent a few from gaining too much power—they knew, a great America would require a great deal of cooperation.